According to top-mba-universities, Canadian architecture was initially inspired above all by the French tradition, sometimes modifying it for environmental reasons (stone houses with steeply sloping, bell-shaped roofs). The most important buildings were built in the various classical styles: first French, then ‘Georgian’ (fine examples of this in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal) and Victorian Gothic (Montreal Cathedral, Ottawa Parliament, University of Toronto). The wood carvings of the French missionary churches (17th-18th century) are characteristic of the colonial period.
Since the end of the 19th century. the development of architecture was largely marked by public intervention, especially for metropolitan areas: from the National capital commission (1899) for the realization of the urban plans of the capital, to the establishment of the metropolitan area of Toronto (1953), which followed the international competition for the City Hall of Toronto itself (1957) won by V. Revell. The renovation of the downtown Montreal since 1962 was interesting, which saw interventions not only by international architects (IM Pei, L. Moretti, PL Nervi), but also by the Canadian studio Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold & Size). If noteworthy are the achievements of commercial buildings (IBM tower in Montreal, 1966, IM Pei; skyscraper of Toronto Dominion Bank, 1970, L. Mies van der Rohe), Simon Fraser in Vancouver (1963, A. Erickson and G. Massey), Scarborough College, Toronto (1966, J. Andrews), the university of Lethbridge, Alberta (1969-1971, Erickson). Cultural institutions created include the Ottawa National Center for the Arts (1969, Affleck and others), the Winnipeg Museum of Art (1971, G. da Roza), the Ontario Science Center (1969, R. Moriyama), the Metro library (1977 Moriyama) and Roy Thomson Hall (Erickson) in Toronto, the civic center of Scarborough, Toronto (1973, Moriyama) and the new complex distr ο Vancouver (1974, Erickson). Other significant achievements are: University of Toronto student residences (2000, Morphosis), Gérald-Godin College in Montréal (2000, Saucier + Perrotte).
Painting began to have importance only in the second half of the 19th century. (1872, Ontario Society of Artists). In 1907 the Canadian Art Club was formed in Toronto: E. Morris (1871-1913), Canada Williamson (1867-1944) and some Montreal painters, among which the most significant was JW Morrice (1865-1924), related in various ways to the experiences of the French Impressionists and J. Whistler. From 1912 central figures of the group were JEH Macdonald (1873-1932) and LS Harris (1885-1970), also animators, since 1920, of the Group of Seven which, with its romantic images of unspoiled nature, dominated the panorama of Canadian painting until the early 1930s. The Sculptor Society of Canada was born in 1928: the most original personality is that of EW Wood (1903-1966). In 1933 the Canadian Group of Painters was formed which aimed at greater national representativeness: its exponents were L. Le Moine Fitzgerald (1890-1956), who tended to a geometric simplification of forms, E. Carr (1871-1945), particularly sensitive to the themes of Indian life and woodland landscapes, and Canada Comfort (1900-1994). With the foundation in Montreal of the Contemporary Art Society (1939) by JG Lyman (1886-1967) and the return to Canada from Paris of A. Pellan (1906-1988), the opening towards international artistic currents became more consistent, from abstraction to surrealism. The Automatistes group (JP Riopelle, L. Bellefleur, PE Borduas) was the most advanced point of the avant-garde.
In Toronto the Painters Eleven group imposed, after 1953, an abstract expressionism close to the American one: J. Bush (1909-1977), A. Luke (1901-1967), O. Cahen (1916-1956), K. Nakamura (1926-2002), T. Hodgson (1924-2006). The Regina Five established themselves in the 1960s, followed by K. Lochhead (1926-2006), R. Bloore (b.1925), D. Morton (1926-2004), A. Mckay (1926-2000), T. Godwin (b.1933). The group of Plasticiens (1955) with R. de Repentigny (1926-1959), L. Belzile (b. 1929), JP Jérome (b. 1928) tended towards a geometric abstractionism; more original is the new abstract art by G. Molinari (1933-2004) and Canada Tousignant (b. 1932). For an experimental research we should remember G. Curnol (b. 1936) and I. Baxter (b. 1936). Commitment and inventiveness in new techniques and in the use of new materials characterized the sculpture of the second half of the 20th century: Murray (b.1936), G. Smith (b.1938). In the last decades of the 20th century. funding and support programs by the state and cultural institutions have contributed to the development of artistic research, characterized by a plurality of trends. An important role is also played by specialized magazines (Parachute, Canadian Art, C-Magazine, Vanguard), from museums, centers and institutions dedicated to contemporary art (Center international d’art contemporain in Montréal, since 1983; Center for contemporary Canadian art, since 1995), from periodic reviews such as Cent jours d’art contemporain de Montréal ( 1985-96), which became the Montreal Biennale in 1998. During the 1990s there was also a renewed interest in indigenous art, in the organization of exhibitions and in the growing presence of indigenous artists in public and private collections.
Many artists have concentrated their research on issues such as the body and sexual and physical identity: in addition to V. Frenkel (b. 1938), one of the leading exponents of video art also active in the field of sculpture, engraving and poetry, Canada Whiten (b. 1945) has established herself, who critically uses traditional techniques of female works; G. Cadieux (b. 1955), who examines alterations of identity in photographic installations; S. Keely (b. 1955), with paintings, performances, videos, installations tackles issues of bodily knowledge; J. Sterbak (b. 1955) reflects on female alienation with sculptures and installations. The integration between sculpture, performance, installation, video and photography emerges from the experiences of K. Wodiczko (b.1943), M. Lewis (b.1948), S. Cruise (b.1949), J. Cardiff (b.1957), G. Bures Miller (b.1960).
The development of Canadian music has been influenced by historical and geographical conditions, mainly by its proximity to the United States. Except for Québec’s ‘chansonniers’, all Canadian folk music is of foreign origin (songs by Indians, French and English immigrants). European music of the 17th and 18th centuries. it reached a notable diffusion thanks to the work carried out in the conservatories of Toronto and the province of Québec and to the symphonic associations which subsequently arose in the various cities. In 1952 J. Weinzweig, J. Papin-Couture, J. Beckwith, M. Adaskin, V. Archer, B. Pentland, P. Mercure, H. Freedman, formed the Canadian League of Composers.